Eating certain foods can help keep your immune system strong. If you’re looking for ways to prevent illnesses like flu and other viral and bacterial infections, you should give attention to your diet. In this article I’m going to show you 10 powerful immune booster foods. Plan your meals to include these foods and see the wonder they can do to your immune system over time, they have the capacity to boost your immunity and fight infections.
Pawpaw whose botanical name is Carica Papaya is a fruit that is loaded with vitamin C, you can find 157% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C in a single pawpaw. It originated in Central America and southern Mexico, however it is now grown in many other parts of the world.
Pawpaw contains a proteolytic enzyme (enzyme that helps break proteins down into smaller fragments called peptides and amino acids). This enzyme called papain. It helps break down tough protein chains found in meat and can help in digestion as well.
Papaya contains a decent amount of potassium, vitamin B, folate, all of which are beneficial to the immune system. It also contains decent amounts of other antioxidants and vitamin A. All these vitamins and antioxidants make it a great food for boosting your immunity.
Garlic is one of the most widely used spices for adding that extra flavor to food. Because of its ability to boost immune system, most people refer to it as immunity boosting superstar. For thousands of years people all over the world have hailed garlic as an elixir of health. It is effective in treating common cold, flu and a variety of other illnesses.
Many people run away from this elixir because of its notorious odor, however, most things that are of health benefits don’t have appealing taste/smell.
Ancient writings show that garlic was used as aphrodisiac in India and as a currency in Egypt. One clove of garlic contains five milligrams of calcium, 12 milligrams of potassium and more than 100 sulfuric compounds powerful enough to wipe out bacteria and infection. In fact, garlic was used to prevent gangrene in World War I and II.
To get the best result from this herb, it should be consumed raw as the raw one is the most beneficial for health. This is because heat and water inactivate sulfur enzymes, which can diminish garlic’s antibiotic effect.
Garlic also seems to lower blood pressure and cholesterol and also kills parasites in our body.
Green and Black Teas
Both green and black teas are packed with flavonoids, a type of antioxidant. Where green tea really excels is its levels of Epgallocatechin Gallate, EGCG (a unique phytochemical, a plant compound) that gets a lot of attention for its positive impact on health.
This compound is known to reduce inflammation, aid weight loss, and help prevent heart and brain disease. EGCG has been shown to enhance immune function. The fermentation process black tea goes through destroys a lot of EGCG present in it. Green tea on the other hand is steamed and not fermented so the EGCG is preserved.
EGCG has been known to have many positive impacts on health and may be one of the main reasons green tea has such powerful medicinal properties is the presence of this compound.
Green tea is also a good source of the amino acid L-Theanine. L-Theanine aids in the production of germ fighting compounds in the T cells, type of white blood cell that is an essential part of the immune system.
Broccoli is a rich source of vitamins and minerals packed with vitamin A, C, and E as well as many other antioxidants and fiber. Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you should include in your diet for immune boosting.
The rich amounts of vitamin C found in broccoli helps to boost your immune system. 100 grams of broccoli can contain up to 89 milligrams of vitamin C, which is more than a lot of citrus fruits.
Broccoli is also rich in beta carotene, and a host of other antioxidants, which makes it a perfect vegetable for your overall immunity. The key to keeping its power intact is to cook it as little as possible, or better yet, not at all. Out of all the cooking methods, steaming is best if you want to preserve the nutrients present in it.
Ginger is another ingredient that many people have trusted since ages for treating various types of illnesses. Ginger may help decrease inflammation which can help reduce sore throat, arthralgia (joint pains), flu, common cold and many other inflammatory illnesses.
Ginger may also help decrease nausea and vomiting and it’s used in many sweet deserts. Ginger packs some heat in the form of gingerol, which is a relative of capsaicin (a chemical compound found in chili pepper that cause a burning sensation in any tissue it comes in contact with). Gingerol decreases chronic pain and possesses cholesterol lowering properties.
According to a recent animal research conducted in Australia ginger helps the immune system perform optimally by boosting it when it is underactive or suppressing it when it is overactive. Research also suggests that ginger can help fight drug resistant bacteria.
Spinach is rich in vitamin C. It’s also packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which increases the infection fighting ability of your immune system. This vegetable can be incorporated quite easily into your diet, and it is cheap as well as easy to prepare.
Spinach is rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, folate, and many other antioxidants which are essential micro-nutrients for your immune system. Similar to broccoli, spinach is healthiest when it is cooked as little as possible, so that it retains its nutrients. However, light cooking enhances its vitamin A and allows other nutrients to be released from oxalic acid.
Spinach is also one of the best sources of dietary magnesium which is necessary for a healthy immune system and also to maintain your blood pressure levels.
Citrus Fruits are one of the best sources of vitamin C. Most people turn to vitamin C after they’ve caught a cold. That’s because it helps to build your immune system. Vitamin C increases the production of white blood cells which are key to fighting infections. A review published in the nutritional journal show that getting enough vitamin C can reduce the symptoms and shorten the duration of respiratory tract infections like common cold. It may also be useful in preventing and improving outcomes for conditions like pneumonia, malaria and diarrhea.
Citrus fruits also rich in antioxidants which can help protect against oxidative stress and prevent damage to your immune cells. Examples of citrus fruits include grapefruit, oranges, tangerines, lemons and limes.
Because your body doesn’t produce or store vitamin C, you need daily doses of vitamin C for improved immunity. Besides boosting your immune system, vitamin C may also help maintain a healthy skin. Almost all citrus fruits are high in vitamin C. With such a variety to choose from, it’s easy to add a portion of this vitamin to any meal.
Citrus fruits are not the only rich source of vitamin C. Red bell peppers is another rich source of vitamin C. It contains twice as much as vitamin C as compared to the citrus fruits. Red bell peppers are also a rich source of beta carotene. Beta Carotene helps to keep your eyes and skin healthy. Many studies have shown an association between diets rich in carotenoids and reduced incidence of many forms of cancer. And it has been suggested that this is due to the antioxidant properties of carotenoids.
There are many different reasons why apples are great for building a strong immunity and good health. First and foremost, apples contain good quantities of all the essential vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B1, B2 and vitamin C. All these vitamins are essential for a proper function of the immune system.
Apples also contain pectin, which is a type of fiber that acts as a prebiotic (a prebiotic is a compound in food that induce the growth or activity of beneficial microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi). This compound feeds the good bacteria in our gut. Gut bacteria directly regulates the function of our immune system by releasing compounds in the gut that act on the immune cells and modulate their function.
In addition to good diet, exercise, proper sleep and proper supplementation is essential to build a good immunity.